George Rossiter reflects on defeat in the derby.
Fulham fell to defeat at the GTech Community Stadium in a lack-lustre performance, with Brentford the better and more energetic side from first minute to last. Goals from Ethan Pinnock, Ivan Toney and Mathias Jensen were more than enough to see off Marco Silva’s side, who remain on 39 points.
Despite falling behind early on, it was thanks to Bernd Leno that Fulham weren’t three behind in the first 10 minutes, thanks to big saves from Toney and Mbuemo. Even in defeat, the German did himself justice it’s fair to say, getting close but not close enough to Toney’s well-placed penalty. Our keeper was not to blame for either of the other goals either, with one from close range and another deflected. 7.5/10. – Man of the match
Defensively, not really much to complain about. Brentford attacked with pace in the first half and Tete was equal to it, including a number of brilliant recovery sprints and challenges to regain possession. Going forward, most crosses were poor, although it’s not just Tete that that can be said for, in fairness. 6/10
Similarly to Tete, it was a fairly faultless first-half defensively even if Fulham had struggled. As per usual, Diop looked strong in his battles and nothing but composed and precise on the ball. Nightmare struck early in the second half as Diop’s clumsy kick in the penalty area resulted in a Brentford penalty, which Toney converted and Fulham never recovered from. 6/10
A fairly standard Ream performance. It’s not a time to praise any defender after a game where your team has conceded three times, but the American didn’t do much wrong, and it was unfortunate that Pinnock’s early deflected effort came off the skipper. When Fulham aren’t at the races and on the ball as much, it’s hard for Ream to influence the game as he can from the back. 6/10
Robinson looked promising early on, with a number of solid touches in between Brentford’s forwards. We also saw a lot of positive signs regarding the relationship he seems to be building with Solomon, overlapping his winger frequently and effectively. The full-back was uncharacteristically out-ran by Schade late on, who set up the third and decisive goal. 6.5/10.l
An early yellow card and subsequent fortunate second challenge which should’ve seen the Serb sent off maybe put a slight damper on Lukic’s performance and how he could effect the game in the second half. However, in the first 45 there were positive signs of how Lukic is able to dictate tempo and play the ball so calmly. By far the best of the midfield three. 6.5/10
Reed isn’t the one to ever get criticism, almost every week you can expect a 7/10. Without Palhinha to help him regain possession, and without Bobby De Cordova-Reid for link-up play down the right hand side, Reed struggled to influence the game, having an almost anonymous performance in midfield. 5/10
Bar the free kick that led to the Fulham goal, moments of quality were rare for Pereira, who in all honesty has struggled to influence games are frequently of late. Not often enough was he searching for the ball, something Lukic was doing frequently from a deeper position. Any team is likely to lack creativity when their number 10 isn’t on the ball enough. 5/10
Willian’s game didn’t seem to change as a result of moving to the right-hand side. He still looked to glide inside and find space where nobody else could. Admittedly, he’s played a lot of his career on that side, so fair enough. However, Fulham’s lack of control on the game had a knock-on effect on how creative Willian was able to be… not very. 6/10
Five in five for the Israeli winger. While that’s extremely positive for us, it also potentially adds pennies onto the price tag, or millions of pounds more realistically. His finish showed an instinctive side to his attacking game, which was positive to see. An overall positive first full Premier League start, even in defeat. 7/10
Feels hard to judge Mitro at the moment. He continues to show the parts of his game that are constantly evolving. Especially when Fulham are struggling, he is so willing to drop deep and link play. However, any striker not getting chances and struggling for goals will get frustrated, as the Serbian showed as the game went on. 6/10
Bobby De-Cordova Reid (75’ for Sasa Lukic)
Slightly surprising he didn’t come on earlier considering Lukic’s situation on a yellow card, good to know he can play in midfield when options are limited in the squad. 6/10.
Harry Wilson (75’ for Manor Solomon)
Didn’t add anything to Fulham’s attack to change the game, you wonder whether the second striker option coming on earlier or the pace of Dan James may have impacted the game more? 6/10.
Cedric (82’ for Kenny Tete)
Came on, skied the ball to Brentford with his first touch, of which they went on the attack and scored. We’ll categorise that as ‘not ideal’. 5/10.
Carlos Vinicius (82’ for Willian)
Came on, made himself a nuisance late on despite staring defeat in the face, and scored a late consolation goal. We’ll categorise that as ‘a good effort’. 6.5/10.